Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fallen, but not Forgotten Quadzilla

Fallen, But Not Forgotten Quadzilla

When I first decided to run the November quadzilla (4 marathons in 4 days) I figured it was going to be just for a birthday present to myself.  Something fun to do, a real challenge to tackle.  But as I began to really think about running four marathons in four days and over the Thanksgiving holiday, I began to realize that there was so much more to this endeavor.  First, Thanksgiving this year is also my birthday.  I am thankful not only for another year of life, but for the ability to run and run as much as I do. Thankful that God has blessed me with life and a family that supports and loves me. family that I get to love and be with everyday. Family that loves me even when I screw up. I realized that there are four families that do not get to have this experience with their whole family and that I need to cherish every moment I have with my family and every opportunity I have to run. It is truly a blessing to be thankful for.  Then I began to think about how others who might wish to be out running cannot for whatever reason.  Second, this weekend is also the one year anniversary of the shooting of four Lakewood police officers.  Now I did not know any of these officers personally, but was deeply moved, outraged, angered, and saddened by these events.  My husband grew up with in the same neighborhood, played sports with and went to school with Officer Ronnie Owens and one of my best friends and running partners works for the Lakewood police department.  My husband and I spent a very emotional day with the LPD at the public memorial for these officers and my husband also attended many remembrances and the funeral for officer Owens.  
   As so many felt at the time, I wanted to actually do something tangible about this horrific event.  I wanted people to value police officers and all they do, I wanted people to never forget what happened.  I organized the tying of blue ribbons over I-5 along the South Tacoma Way overpass, close to both the shooting and the Lakewood police department as a reminder to those who see them to never forget.
  I realized that I could use these four marathons as another way to remind people of these four wonderful officers and the sacrifice they and their families made.  That I can run and that they cannot.  I choose to run each marathon in memory of each fallen officer, to in some small way keep them in our memories.  Fallen, but not forgotten.
Thursday, November 25th Wattle Waddle Marathon In memory of Sergeant Mark Renninger
Friday, November 26th Wishbone Marathon in memory of officer Tina Griswold
Saturday, November 27th Ghost of Seattle Marathon in memory of Officer Ronnie Owens
Sunday, November 28th Seattle Marathon in memory of Officer Greg Richards 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Support the Lakewood PD

Help suppot the Lakewood Police Independant Guild and the families of the fallen officers Click on the link below and purchase an Honor Band bracelet

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A few photos from the Memorial for the fallen Lakewood Officers

Canadian Mounted Patrol. There were over
1000 Canadians dressed in red.
Waiting to enter the Tacoma Dome

Just a glimpse of the Lakewood patrol cars
and the thousands of cars that followed.
Outside of the Lakewood police department, the procession began under the flag with the fallen officers
vehicles, the hearses, the family and then
the LPD.

The most moving day of my life.
Grace and Peace to the fallen officers families and to the Lakewood police department
Grace and peace to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cascade Crest story part II, "The Climb"

Okay, here goes. After much reflection I can finish my story.
I left Hyak wishing I had more time. I felt rushed there partley because of the cutoff and partly because Hyak was the aid station my friends were hosting. I really needed to take the time to attend to my feet, blisters and change shoes and socks but I just couldn't with all those people there. So I changed my shirt and kept on moving.
Along the paved road section out of Hyak I noticed a cramp in my foot. It came and went so I thought nothing of it. Rob and I we doing 50/50's which was good, but I really knew I needed to be running more. My feet just hurt. I was sleepy. I was wishing for a rope to tie myself to Rob so he could pull me along and I could sleep as I climbed the road to Kacheelus Ridge. I took a few breaks on this road just for a minute or two while Rob attended to nature. I was thankful. At one point the cramp came back and was very painful. I began looking along the sides of the road for a place to sit and rub my foot. There weren't any so I saat on the road. It really didn't help, but the pain subsided some and I was able to move without limping. On up the road. It really seemed we would never get to the top. That 5 miles seemed like 10. Once we did get to the top it was cold and we had to put on jackets. We arrived at the aid station and had a quick bite. It was around 5am. When we left the aide station we passed a pacer coming back in and saw the runner sitting attending to blisters.
The way down the mountain was an 8 mile downhill. This would be easy on any other run. Not so here. What was beautiful was the sunrise over the mountains with clouds below in the valley. Gorgeous. Breath taking. Rob had me continuing to run with some breaks. My feet were hurting and that cramp was still off and on. The downhill pounding on the road was taking it out of me. My legs felt good though, my feet felt beat. I knew now that I had a big blister on the bottom of my right heel. I felt it every time I put my foot down. Soon we were joined by Bill Barmore and a runner he was pacing. We leap frogged some and ran together some. We worried about making it to Kachees Lake before the cutoff together. I began to walk more. It felt better to walk fast than it felt to run slow.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that we made it to kachees by 7:15am, 45min ahead of the cutoff. My race was still on.
I really needed to take care of my feet, but we chose to push on. I took off my lights and jacket and did not stop at the aid station. Rob called "12 in, 12 out" as I kept moving along up the road. My wonderful crew was a bit confused but still took my pack and filled it and gave Rob food for me and Jamal ran up the road and brought me the pack and food. Rob caught up and we scrambled up the side of the hill onto "the trail from hell" as it is lovingly referred.
I have run the last 27 miles of Cascade before so knew exactly what to dread. What seemed like hundreds of giant logs, like Lincoln logs strewn about for weary runners to try and climb over as fast as they can. I tried to just take them as they came and made my way over as best I could. I am sure Rob was laughing to himself watching me do this.
My wonderful pacer was convinced that I would be able to move fast enough to get through this section, to mineral creek and up the next logging road to No Name Ridge by the cut off at 11:30am. We really had to be moving to do this. I appreciated his efforts to get me to move, but I was really going as fast as I could. My feet were really hurting, but the rest of me was willing to go, go, go.
I wasn't going fast enough. The end of the lake and the turn off wasn't getting any nearer. I began to realize I would make it to mineral creek, but I would not make it to No Name Ridge by the cut off. I knew I needed at least 2 1/2 hours to make it up that 7 mile climb by 11:30 am. Rob kept up the faith that I could and we kept moving along.
By 9:30am though, together we knew that I would not make it and my finish line would be at Mineral Creek and not at the Easton Fire station. Rob said we could keep going and not worry about the cut off and just keep going anyway. I was torn inside about that. I have run this section before and knew how hard it would be to continue. I knew my feet needed attention and that would take more time due to my ankle braces coming off and going back on, besides the cleaning and draining of blisters. So I decided I would finish at Mineral. Rob ran ahead to let Michelle and Sonja know to bring the car down to the aid station so I wouldn't have to go an extra 2 miles to the car.
I was feeling good about the decision. Happy to even be this far and to be a participant. I really enjoyed the event..there were moments of misery but I loved even those. I was happy to be done, to sit down, to take off my shoes and see those blisters. The giant bubble one on the bottom of my foot. I was happy to know that I had gone farther than I had ever gone before and that I still did feel really good, despite my feet feeling crappy. I'd have gone on if there wasn't a looming cut-off to tell me I couldn't go on. I wasn't ready to say I'd ever do this adventure again, but now I'd say I would. I know now what I would have done differently and what other kinds of training I would do to be better prepared for those super loose and rocky sections (especially int he dark). I can't say that it would happen next year or even the next, but someday I'll come back and tackle those climbs again.

The Climb....(has Miley Cyrus taken up running ultras?)

I can almost see it.That dream I'm dreaming,
but There's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it
Every step I'm takin'
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin'
But I gotta keep tryin'
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down,
butNo I'm not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most
I've just gotta keep goin', and
I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, but
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
Keep on movin'
Keep climbin'
Keep faith baby
It's all about, it's all about
The climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

Grace and Peace to you

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Cascade Crest Story...part 1

Last Saturday began early. With a 4:15am wake up call, I was a bit worried at the sound of pouring rain. I knew the forecast in the mountains was not for rain, so I wasn't too worried. Then I was into the shower and making those final getting dressed preparations. I headed downstairs to make some toast and stretch a bit before crew member Sonya arrived at 5:20am. When Sonya arrived, we loaded up her gear into the back of the car and set out for Starbucks. I already had Michelle's order so we could make just one stop. We saw crew member 2, Rick pulling into Starbucks as we were pulling out. He was to pick up my pacer, Rob (who would also require a stop at Starbucks of course!), and then head up to Easton. We got to Crew Chief Michelle's at about 5:50am and loaded everything up into the backseat. We decided to wait until we were in dry Easton before trying to get everything sorted out and into the box on top of the car.
We arrived in Easton at about 7:15am after pouring rain at least half of the drive up. I decided to drive as my nerves were getting the best of me and I felt I needed something to do or I would go crazy. Once we arrived we tried to eat some of the awesome breakfast the volunteer firefighters had made for the runners and crews. Huckleberry pancakes, fruit, eggs, ham, sausage...the works. I couldn't eat much. We went back to the car and got all the stuff organized and I started to get my feet ready to go. I started with the Anti-Monkey-Butt Powder on my feet to help with heat rash, then lubed up the toes and heels with Body Glide and put my injini's and ankle braces on. I had to adjust my left brace a few times before it felt just right. Then I checked in with Rob who needed a pacer bib and I picked up my #12 bib and goodie bag. Lots of runners and crews were arriving now and I got a chance to talk with lots of people. Soon it was time for the race briefing and I was really beginning to feel nervous! Finally we were set free to use the porta-potties and get the final gear on and line up to start. I got my pack on and my water-bottle with orange-ginger Nuun ready to go and hit the bathroom line. I was feeling goo. 10 minutes later I went to the potties again! Then it was time to toe the line. With literally 20 seconds before the start I realized I didn't have my two gel flasks and wonderful crew Chief Michelle went flying into action and got the gels to me as I was jogging at the start!
I quickly caught up to Karen Wiggins who I would be with for about the first 25 miles. It was great to have company. We we at the back of the pack and taking it nice and easy which was fine with both of us. We came into the first water stop at Goat Peak at 10:50am and headed out to Cole Butte. We were thinking we were getting away with an easy first climb right about the time the climb really began! It was too bad though as our legs were fresh. I am not sure what times we came into Cole Butte or Blowout Mountain, but they were within the range I had on my expectation and notes sheet. I was very glad to hit the Pacific Crest Trail as it seemed to be well groomed and very easy to run on and feel we picked up time on this section. We came into Tacoma Pass and I got to see my crew for the first time. It was great. They gave me a new bottle with Sustained Energy and I ate some watermelon. I need to thank Jon Yoon also for fixing my watch so the timer was rolling at 45 minute intervals. I had been eating gel or food every 30 minutes but felt it was making me a bit nauseous along with my nervous tummy already. It proved a good move. I think I made some good time on the next section and even passed several people. I enjoyed being greeted by a high school boys cross country team at Blowout Mountain and appreciated the help the coach gave me about getting real food into my body as I was feeling a bit low at this point. I was glad to see it was only 3 miles to Stampede, but it turns out it is really 3.9. I thought why is it taking me so long to run 3 miles (as I was running the whole time)? Well, because it was just about 4 miles!
Coming into Stampede Pass I felt great, but really wanted company. Karen had left me earlier, eager to get to her husband and change her shoes at Stampede. I wanted my pacer and to have someone to talk to! I sat down too quickly here and got light headed and felt a bit ill. I kept asking for my lights. My crew took care of me, getting me solid food to take with me , a new bladder and bottle and put a jacket on me. They were worried about me. I assured them I just needed to go and get moving. I really did feel better as soon as I was moving again. They told me they would wait 15 minutes at the aid station in case I needed to come back. I was good. I ate the sandwich piece they gave me and a Snickers bite size bar and felt good again. I decided to listen to my Ipod and run as much as I could before it got dark. I knew there were some people behind me and as soon as it was really dark I was glad to have some company besides the music. for 5 miles out of 7 between stations I was alone and the last two I spent with a man named Mark. I found that as soon as it was really dark, the trail also became very overgrown and big chunky loose rocks took over the trail. It became hard to run and have good footing, so I was reduced to more walking here which I didn't really want to do. I was surprised to find my crew at Meadow Mountain as I forgot it was a crew point. This perked me up too as I knew I would find Rob at the next aid station. I was faster than I thought, but I didn't like what time it was. Too close to the end of my time range. Mark and I had to walk most of the next section, as it had lots of climbing at the start and steep, chunky rock descents. Rob and another guy came out to meet us from Olallie. This helped pick up the pace into the aid station which was good. I needed to have a blister taken care of here on my heel of my right foot. Michelle and Sonya got started and then thee aid station crew kinda took over. Scott examined the blister and brought over a big knife, wiped it with an alcohol pad and began to pop and scrape my blister. I distracted myself by drinking an apple juice box and having Sonya get my blister band aids out of my pack. After deliberating about what was best, vaseline or the band aids, I decided I wanted the blister band aid and kiniesio tape covering the band aid. Scott didn't think it would stay but it did! With perogie in hand and Rob in the lead we were off to discover the new rerouted section into be continued!

Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Eve of Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run

Here I sit, a bundle of nerves. I've been going crazy from anxiety and nerves all week. trying to rest and pack, get lots of sleep. Now it is finally here.
"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go," not standing at the door quite yet, few more hours to wait. Now the questions just nag and persist. Will my ankle braces cause me grief, just how bad will the blisters be? Will be fast enough up the climbs. Actually, the running and climbing questions I know I can do, It's the other things I wonder about.
The training is in, the playlist is downloaded, the checklist is checked off.
The praying has begun at full strength, please pray for me too. These are my requests: Strength, Endurance, energy, positive attitude, staying awake through sleep deprivation, keep moving through the aches and pains in my feet and muscles, safety and FUN!
Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate all of them and all of you. Hopefully a race report will be published on Monday or early next week. God bless you.
Grace and peace to you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taper Time Ramblings

As I approach the week and a half left to go mark, I am beginning to get excited and nervous. Do I have enough gels, extra socks, etc to make it to the finish? What's the weather going to do? All these questions. Did I train enough? Will I be fast enough on the climbs? I rest in the knowledge that I listened to seasoned runners and followed their coaching advice (thank you Rob, Eric and Steve as well as many others out there).
As I begin to make little piles of clothing and gear, trying to decided which bag for which aid station I want my crew to have this or that ready for me, I am thankful for all the help i have been given to even get to this point, the ready to toe the starting line point. Who would have ever thought I'd run 100 miles? I just ran my first marathon about 3 years ago. "What a long strange trip it's been." Albeit a great trip. I can't wait to find out all the things I have learned about myself over the last 9 months. Yes it has been a 9 month journey from the first time I felt called to even consider running Cascade. It has been along journey that my loving husband blessed and has endured. Many weekends with the kids while I was out training in the mountains or up at 4am and back at 9pm and he got all the kid games and swim lessons etc... Thank you Hun. I know I have grown as a person, stronger mentally, physically and spiritually through this journey. Next Saturday, the 29th it all comes to fruition. And as I look back after on the adventures I have had in getting there and in tackling the 100 miler, the lessons will begin to emerge and I'll know then who I am after 100 miles and why I was called to run the Cascade Crest 100 mile endurance run.
Until then, Grace and peace to you and a prayer request for me for peace, endurance, strength, health, and good weather!